Bartenders reveal secrets for their favourite cocktails

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Adelaide’s leading bartenders have revealed their secrets for making perfect cocktails.

Cocktails include:

  • whisky sour
  • Aperol spritz
  • Pina colada
  • Put a Windex on It
  • Marco Polo

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from Adelaide now 24.10.21

You don’t need years of experience behind a bar to master the art of cocktail-making.

The mixologists behind some of Adelaide’s best bars — including Maybe Mae, West at Henley, The Sorcerer’s Bar, Paloma Bar and Pantry, Republic Norwood, Sparkke at the Whitmore and Sean’s Kitchen, just to name a few — have revealed the recipes behind their favourite spring/summer cocktails so you can serve them up at home.

Learn the correct way to make classics such as a whisky sour, Aperol spritz or a pina colada, or recreate more unique drinks such as Yiasou George’s Put a Windex on It, or Fugazzi’s Marco Polo.

There’s also some special tips and tricks from bartenders who have competed in national and international cocktail-making events.

Try out their recipes and tell us in the comments how your drinks turned out.

Grace Rawlins – Memphis Slims House of Blues

The cocktail – Mamacita

The Mamacita cocktail.

The Mamacita cocktail.

Rawlins says: “I love my cocktail, The Mamacita. It’s everything I like to include when it comes to my drinks creation. My go-to cocktails are savoury and umami yet very well balanced and for me this cocktail ticks all the boxes! I’d describe my Mamacita as a less citrus forward margarita with hints of soy and coriander present on the palate yet still heroing Patron Repasado successfully.

“(The bartending competiton) Patron Perfectionists was such an incredible experience, representing South Australia and placing in such a major cocktail competition so early on in my career and was definitely a major highlight for the year so far.”

The Mamacita cocktail

INGREDIENTS:
45ml Patrón Reposado
15ml Lillet Blanc
20ml Lemon Juice (freshly squeezed)
10ml Ginger Sugar Syrup
2ml Soy Sauce
Coriander fresh – leaves shaken in
5ml Honey Sugar Syrup
Celery Salt – Rim Garnish

METHOD:
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, hard shake to bruise coriander leaves to extract flavour. Fine strain into your chilled coupe class already garnished with celery salt and enjoy.
Ginger Sugar Syrup Recipe: Equal weight ginger to sugar to half part water. Ginger juice to mix through easily.
Honey Syrup Recipe: Three parts honey to one part water.

Bartender Grace Rawlins, from Memphis Slim’s House of Blues, shows how to make her Mamacita cocktail.
Sean’s Kitchen bartender Liam Goodwin makes a Sweet Heat cocktail. Picture: Duy Dash.

Sean’s Kitchen bartender Liam Goodwin makes a Sweet Heat cocktail. Picture: Duy Dash.

The Sweet Heat cocktail. Picture: Duy Dash.

The Sweet Heat cocktail. Picture: Duy Dash.

Liam Goodwin – Sean’s Kitchen

The cocktail – Sweet Heat

Goodwin says: “Warm up the cooler nights with a spicy kick. Muddled jalapeños and fragrant flavours are combined to deliver a sweet drink with a peppery finish.”

The Sweet Heat cocktail

INGREDIENTS:
Vanilla Vodka
St. Germain
Lime juice
Honey syrup
Muddled jalapeno

Bartender Liam Goodwin, from Sean’s Kitchen, shows how to make his Sweet Heat cocktail.
Nick Corletto, bartender at Maybe Mae.

Nick Corletto, bartender at Maybe Mae.

Nick Corletto – Maybe Mae

The cocktail – Bill Murray

Bartender Nick Corletto’s cocktail, the Bill Murray.

Bartender Nick Corletto’s cocktail, the Bill Murray.

Corletto says: “The Bill Murray is a fresh and fruit forward take on the all too familiar Whiskey Sour. Mint and Apricot perk up the popular drink and are tasting delicious this time of year.”

The Bill Murray cocktail

INGREDIENTS:

Apricot
Lemon
Egg Whites
Whiskey
Apricot Liqueur

SECRET TIP: Make sure to have a lemon peeled before juicing it to make the cocktail; squeezing and expressing the citrus oils over the foam will suppress any strange odours that are typically found when making sours and cocktails with egg whites.

Bartender Nick Corletto, from Maybe Mae, shows how to make his signature cocktail, the Bill Murray.
Top Adelaide bartender Abby Roennfeldt at Semaphore's Hades Hula House. Picture: Michael Marschall.

Top Adelaide bartender Abby Roennfeldt at Semaphore’s Hades Hula House. Picture: Michael Marschall.

Abby Roennfeldt – Hades Hula House

The cocktail – Lemon Drop

Abby Roennfeldt’s cocktail, the Lemon Drop. Pic: Supplied.

Abby Roennfeldt’s cocktail, the Lemon Drop. Pic: Supplied.

Roennfeldt says: “I think this is a bangin’ summer beverage because it is simple to make, uses ingredients that are easy to find and it can be adapted to a delicious mocktail by substituting the gin for Lyre’s non-alcoholic dry London spirit. Let the good vibes flow!”

The Lemon Drop cocktail

INGREDIENTS:
45ml Stone Pine Lemon Drop gin (available at nipofcourage.com)
45ml lemon squash sugar syrup*
20ml fresh lemon juice
20ml fresh lime juice
3 dashes orange bitters

METHOD:
To make the lemon squash sugar syrup, pour one can of lemon squash into pot and reduce by half, over medium heat.

Combine in equal parts with simple syrup (1:1 sugar & water). Allow to cool, pour into clean bottle and store in the fridge.

When making jelly lemon wedges, cut lemons in half & juice. Keep juice to make your cocktails. Make jelly as per packet instructions, however, use half the recommended amount of water. (This will make a firm jelly that will hold when you cut the wedges).

Pour jelly liquid into lemon halves and allow to set overnight in the fridge. Once jelly is set, cut into wedges. Roll in caster sugar just before serving for added sparkly crunch.

Top Adelaide bartender Abby Roennfeldt, from Hades Hula House, shows how to make one of her favourite cocktails, the Lemon Drop.
Republic Norwood bartender Charles Porter with his Watermelon Crush cocktail.

Republic Norwood bartender Charles Porter with his Watermelon Crush cocktail.

Charles Porter – Republic Norwood

The cocktail – Watermelon Crush

The Watermelon Crush cocktail.

The Watermelon Crush cocktail.

Porter says: “Watermelon is a summer staple so we thought why not incorporate that into a refreshing summer cocktail! The trick to making it perfectly is to make sure you’ve muddled the watermelon down so there are no big chunks.”

The Watermelon Crush cocktail

INGREDIENTS:
30ml Elderflower Liqueur
30ml Pavan
15ml lemon juice
Watermelon
Soda
Muddle, shake and dump

Bartender Charles Porter, from Republic Norwood, shares the secrets behind his favourite cocktail, Watermelon Crush.
Yiasou George bartender Holly Kovarik. Pic: Supplied.

Yiasou George bartender Holly Kovarik. Pic: Supplied.

Holly Kovarik – Yiasou George

The cocktail – Put Some Windex On It

The Put Some Windex On It cocktail.

The Put Some Windex On It cocktail.

Kovarik says: “This drink is easily one of my favourites as it takes you to a little Mediterranean island after just one sip. The green freshness of the aloe vera along with the crisp flavours of Mastiha and Tsipouro pair for a slightly herbal, perfect little Summer treat.

“And the secret to making it? The beautiful blue hue colour that comes through from our in-house pea flower syrup.”

The Put Some Windex On It cocktail

INGREDIENTS:
40ml Vittorio Tsipouro
15ml Skinos Mastiha
30ml Alo Vera water
20ml lime juice
5ml butterfly pea flower syrup

Bartender Holly Kovarik, from Yiasou George, shares the secrets behind her favourite cocktail, Put Some Windex On It.
West at Henley bartender and partner Jameson Gregg. Picture: Matt Turner.

West at Henley bartender and partner Jameson Gregg. Picture: Matt Turner.

Jameson Gregg – West at Henley

The cocktail – Bush Apple Fizz

West at Henley cocktail, the Bush Apple Fizz.

West at Henley cocktail, the Bush Apple Fizz.

Gregg says: “The Bush Apple Fizz is a perfect summer sipper! At my venue, West, seasonal ingredients are a huge emphasis, utilizing herbs, fruits & veg in their prime is the core of any great drinks list in my humble opinion.

“The ingredients Quandong, Bush Apple & Strawberry Gum have a place close to my heart, focusing on native ingredients is something we’ve been doing at West for the last few drinks lists we’ve put out. The drink itself is a tall, crisp, textural & refreshing twist on a gin fizz. Bottoms up.”

The Bush Apple Fizz cocktail

INGREDIENTS:

7 Seasons Bush Apple Gin
Poached Pear Purée
Quandong Syrup Lemon
Strawberry Gum
Cinnamon
Fizz

Bartender Jameson Gregg, from West at Henley, reveals the secret to making his Bush Apple Fizz cocktail.
Sparkke at the Whitmore bartender Clayton Johnson. Pic: Supplied.

Sparkke at the Whitmore bartender Clayton Johnson. Pic: Supplied.

Clayton Johnson – Sparkke at the Whitmore

The cocktail – Whisky Sour

Clayton Johnson’s Whisky Sour cocktail. Pic: Supplied.

Clayton Johnson’s Whisky Sour cocktail. Pic: Supplied.

Johnson says: “Personally, the Orange and Earl Grey Whiskey Sour is one of my favourite cocktails to make because with the addition of one new element, it completely changes your experience of a classic in the best possible way.

“It’s fresh, perfect for summer and super aromatic. As we use our very own Whiskey, which again is light and smooth on the tongue, the two blend together with perfection and make one amazing experience out of it.”

The Whisky Sour cocktail

INGREDIENTS:
50ml Spirit of Oak & Malt
25ml Limoncello
20ml Lemon Juice
7.5ml Sugar Syrup
7-8 drops of Wonder-Foam

METHOD:
1. Dry shake
2. Wet shake – less ice
3. Pour into Rocks Glass filled with ice
4. Garnish – Lemon wheel with maraschino cherry in the middle

SECRET TIP: You can use wonder foam rather than egg white for your cocktail – and it’s vegan friendly! Also remember to dry shake and then wet shake to form a thicker foam.

Bartender Clayton Johnson, from Sparkke at the Whitmore, shows how to make his favourite cocktail, a whisky sour.
Marion Hotel's Luke Davies.

Marion Hotel’s Luke Davies.

Luke Davies – Marion Hotel

The cocktail – Lychee Southside

Davies says: “A classic Southside is a gin and lime cocktail that’s origins have been traced back over 100 years ago in Chicago – Our version is a change up to make it a crisper drink while also a little bit fruitier beverage.

“We wanted a classy drink that was fresh and vibrant, a great thirst quencher on a nice summer day.”

The Lychee Southside cocktail

INGREDIENTS:
30ml Smirnoff Vodka
15ml Paraiso Lychee Liqueur
22.5ml Lemon Juice
15ml Apple Juice
15ml Sugar syrup
8-10 mint leaves

SPECIAL TIP: Don’t shake the ingredients together too hard. If you do, the mint will give off too much oil and the drink will turn bitter.

Duty manager Luke Davies, from the Marion Hotel, shares the secrets behind his Lychee Southside cocktail.
Bartender Courtney Price from Fugazzi Bar and Dining Room.

Bartender Courtney Price from Fugazzi Bar and Dining Room.

Courtney Price – Fugazzi Bar and Dining Room

The cocktail – Marco Polo

Courtney Price’s cocktail, the Marco Polo.

Courtney Price’s cocktail, the Marco Polo.

Price says: “I love this drink because there are so many opposing flavour profiles involved. You’ve got curry leaf, you’ve got apricot and you have almond from the Orgeat as well. So it kinda bounces back and forth, hence the name, Marco Polo. It’s super refreshing, aromatic and just a great drink for summer.”

The Marco Polo cocktail

INGREDIENTS:

Rhum Agricole
Apricot
Orgeat syrup
Curry Leaf
Lime

SECRET TIP: You have to make sure there’s enough curry leaf infused so it actually comes through in the drink – it’s a really important part of it.

Bartender Courtney Price, from Fugazzi Bar and Dining Room, shows how to make her Marco Polo cocktail.
Seafire on the Marina bartender Damien Sunners. Pic: Supplied.

Seafire on the Marina bartender Damien Sunners. Pic: Supplied.

Damien Sunners – Seafire on the Marina

The cocktail – Savi-G

Damien Sunners’ Savi-G cocktail.

Damien Sunners’ Savi-G cocktail.

Sunners says: “The Savi-G is incredibly refreshing and it’s great making cocktails with local producers like Cobbs Hill and their gins. Learn the classics and from there you will be able to make any cocktail.

“Also make sure that you are shaking cocktails long enough as it’s not just to chill a cocktail but to also blend, dilute and give it texture.”

The Savi-G cocktail

INGREDIENTS:
30ml Cobbs Hill Sauvignon Blanc Gin
120ml Sauvignon Blanc
15ml Sugar Syrup
6 mint leaves
3 lemon or lime slices

METHOD:
Shake with ice and pour into Rocks Glass.
Garnish with dehydrated lemon and fresh mint.

Bartender Damien Sunners, from Seafire on the Marina , shares the secrets behind his Savi-G cocktail.
The Tower Hotel bartender Sebastian Terreux.

The Tower Hotel bartender Sebastian Terreux.

The classic Aperol Spritz cocktail.

The classic Aperol Spritz cocktail.

Sebastian Terreux – The Tower Hotel

The cocktail – Aperol Spritz

Terreux says: “It’s a summer classic, we can never go past an Aperol on a hot summer’s day! Our tip would be to always make sure you use a good quality bottle of prosecco.”

The Aperol Spritz cocktail

INGREDIENTS: 
90ml Bubbles- we used Twill and Daisy Prosecco
60ml Aperol Aperitivo
Topped with Soda
Garnished with a slice of orange

Bartender Sebastian Terreux, from the Tower Hotel, shows how to make his favourite cocktail, an Aperol spritz.
Mia Zhang, co-owner of new East End champagne bar, Bar La Vie.

Mia Zhang, co-owner of new East End champagne bar, Bar La Vie.

Mia Zhang – Bar La Vie

The cocktail – French 75

Bar La Vie cocktail, French 75.

Bar La Vie cocktail, French 75.

Zhang says: “French 75 is a classic champagne cocktail. In South Australia, we are proud of our local gins – and gin elevates this cocktail. It’s perfect for Spring/Summer drinking – refreshing, yet elegant.”

The French 75 cocktail

INGREDIENTS:

2 oz French Champagne
1 oz South Australian gin of choice
1.2 oz Lemon Juice
2 dashes of a simple syrup

METHOD:

Simply combine all the ingredients together and stir.

Glenelg Pier Hotel's Pina Colada cocktail.

Glenelg Pier Hotel’s Pina Colada cocktail.

Glenelg Pier Hotel bartender Jaz Hall.

Glenelg Pier Hotel bartender Jaz Hall.

Jaz Hall – Glenelg Pier Hotel

The cocktail – Pina Colada

Halls says: “In my younger years I always enjoyed drinking Malibu and pineapple juice and I’ve always loved coconut, so naturally had to try a Pina Colada.

“The secret to making the perfect Pina Colada is using coconut cream rather than milk & a squeeze of fresh lime juice, most places often forget the lime juice.”

The Pina Colada cocktail

INGREDIENTS: 
30ml Bacardi Rum
30ml Malibu Coconut Rum
90ml Pineapple Juice
90ml Coconut Cream
Squeeze of fresh Lime Juice
Shake with ice & strained over ice

Bartender Jaz Hall, from Glenelg Pier Hotel, shows how to make the perfect pina colada cocktail.
Farina 00 Pasta & Wine bartender Zoe Roberts.

Farina 00 Pasta & Wine bartender Zoe Roberts.

Zoe Roberts – Farina 00 Pasta & Wine

The cocktail – Sgroppino

Farina 00 Pasta & Wine cocktail, the Sgroppino.

Farina 00 Pasta & Wine cocktail, the Sgroppino.

Roberts says: “This particular cocktail is a summer favourite as it is incredibly refreshing, especially with the mint, and the secret to making this perfect is lots of ice, and only single straining it to keep the icy texture.”

The Sgroppino cocktail

INGREDIENTS:
90ml Prosecco
30ml vodka
1 scoop lemon sorbet
Ice
Mint

Bartender and bar manager Mike Han from city venue, Fishbank.

Bartender and bar manager Mike Han from city venue, Fishbank.

Mike Han – Fishbank

The cocktail – Galley Ho

Fishbank cocktail, the Galley Ho.

Fishbank cocktail, the Galley Ho.

Han says: “​The Galley Ho is new to Fishbank – coming with the next cocktail list change. It’s pairs perfect with seafood – light and refreshing!”

The Galley Ho cocktail

INGREDIENTS: 

30ml Cachaca
15ml Gentian Liqueur
30ml Lemon Juice
15ml Almond Syrup
Handful Basil Leaves
Prosecco to Top
Garnish: Basil Sprig

METHOD:

Combine and shake all ingredients, except Prosecco.
Strain into a stemless wine glass filled with ice.
Top with Prosecco and garnish with Basil Sprig.

Fishbank bar manager Mike Han shows how to make his signature cocktail, the Galley Ho.
Paloma Bar and Pantry bar manager Luke Flemming. Picture: AAP/MIKE BURTON.

Paloma Bar and Pantry bar manager Luke Flemming. Picture: AAP/MIKE BURTON.

Luke Flemming – Paloma Bar and Pantry

The cccktail – The Mediterranean Diet

Paloma Bar and Pantry’s The Mediterranean Diet cocktail.

Paloma Bar and Pantry’s The Mediterranean Diet cocktail.

Flemming says: “The Mediterranean Diet is a subtle tropical ‘sipper’ – vibrant, refreshing and perfect for spring weather.”

The Mediterranean Diet cocktail

INGREDIENTS: 

60ml strawberry and passionfruit husk infused gin
15ml fresh lemon juice
30ml sauvignon blanc
5 drops of wonder foam cocktail foamer

METHOD:

1. Double shake and strain into a cocktail coupe.
2. Garnish by floating half a passionfruit on top of the drink.

SECRET TIP: Shake ingredients twice, once with ice and once without – for a light, fluffy texture.

The Sorcerer’s Bar bartender Celina Groom makes her Sempre-Viva cocktail.

The Sorcerer’s Bar bartender Celina Groom makes her Sempre-Viva cocktail.

The finished Sempre-Viva cocktail.

The finished Sempre-Viva cocktail.

Celina Groom – The Sorcerer’s Bar

The cocktail – Sempre-Viva

Groom says: “Sempre-Viva means to live forever. As summer is approaching, we wanted create something new, subtle, something with a floral aroma, that’s sweet and sour. It’s an easy-to-drink type of cocktail.”

The Sempre-Viva cocktail

INGREDIENTS:

Pink gin
Triple Sec
Elderflower syrup
Egg white
Lime

METHOD:

Shake ingredients together well and serve through a strainer.
Make sure to add a floral garnish.

 

 

 

East End Cellars cocktail, the Wolf Lane Davidson Plum Gin Sour.

East End Cellars cocktail, the Wolf Lane Davidson Plum Gin Sour.

East End Cellars bartender Harry Sharma with his cocktail, the Wolf Lane Davidson Plum Gin Sour.

East End Cellars bartender Harry Sharma with his cocktail, the Wolf Lane Davidson Plum Gin Sour.

Harry Sharma – East End Cellars

The cocktail – Wolf Lane Davidson Plum Gin Sour

Sharma says: “The Wolf Lane Davidson Plum Gin Sour is light, refreshing and a crowd favourite at East End Cellars. This cocktail is EEC’s take on a classic gin sour.”

The Wolf Lane Davidson Plum Gin Sour cocktail

INGREDIENTS: 

60ml Wolf Lane Davidson Plum Gin Sour
45ml Fresh Lemon Juice
15ml Simply Syrup
1x Egg white or 4-6 drops of Wonder foam (vegan)

METHOD:

– Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker
– Shake, Shake, Shake (without ice until foam forms)
– Add ice for final shake
– Double strain into a fancy as glass
– Garnish with 3x drops of bitters or dehydrated lime wheel

SECRET TIP: The secret is the dry shake (no ice), followed by a double strain.

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